The Triumph Of Love

by Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller

By love are blest the gods on high,
Frail man becomes a deity
When love to him is given;
'Tis love that makes the heavens shine
With hues more radiant, more divine,
And turns dull earth to heaven!

In Pyrrha's rear (so poets sang
In ages past and gone),
The world from rocky fragments sprang--
Mankind from lifeless stone.

Their soul was but a thing of night,
Like stone and rock their heart;
The flaming torch of heaven so bright
Its glow could ne'er impart.

Young loves, all gently hovering round,
Their souls as yet had never bound
In soft and rosy chains;
No feeling muse had sought to raise
Their bosoms with ennobling lays,
Or sweet, harmonious strains.

Around each other lovingly
No garlands then entwined;
The sorrowing springs fled toward the sky,
And left the earth behind.

From out the sea Aurora rose
With none to hail her then;
The sun unhailed, at daylight's close,
In ocean sank again.

In forests wild, man went astray,
Misled by Luna's cloudy ray--
He bore an iron yoke;
He pined not for the stars on high,
With yearning for a deity
No tears in torrents broke.

.....

But see! from out the deep-blue ocean
Fair Venus springs with gentle motion
The graceful Naiad's smiling band
Conveys her to the gladdened strand,

A May-like, youthful, magic power
Entwines, like morning's twilight hour,
Around that form of godlike birth,
The charms of air, sea, heaven, and earth.

The day's sweet eye begins to bloom
Across the forest's midnight gloom;
Narcissuses, their balm distilling,
The path her footstep treads are filling.

A song of love, sweet Philomel,
Soon carolled through the grove;
The streamlet, as it murmuring fell,
Discoursed of naught but love,

Pygmalion! Happy one! Behold!
Life's glow pervades thy marble cold!
Oh, LOVE, thou conqueror all-divine,
Embrace each happy child of thine!

.....

By love are blest the gods on high,--
Frail man becomes a deity
When love to him is given;
'Tis love that makes the heavens shine
With hues more radiant, more divine,
And turns dull earth to heaven!

.....

The gods their days forever spend
In banquets bright that have no end,
In one voluptuous morning-dream,
And quaff the nectar's golden stream.

Enthroned in awful majesty
Kronion wields the bolt on high:
In abject fear Olympus rocks
When wrathfully he shakes his locks.

To other gods he leaves his throne,
And fills, disguised as earth's frail son,
The grove with mournful numbers;
The thunders rest beneath his feet,
And lulled by Leda's kisses sweet,
The Giant-Slayer slumbers.

Through the boundless realms of light
Phoebus' golden reins, so bright,
Guide his horses white as snow,
While his darts lay nations low.
But when love and harmony
Fill his breast, how willingly
Ceases Phoebus then to heed
Rattling dart and snow-white steed!

See! Before Kronion's spouse
Every great immortal bows;
Proudly soar the peacock pair
As her chariot throne they bear,
While she decks with crown of might
Her ambrosial tresses bright,

Beauteous princess, ah! with fear
Quakes before thy splendor, love,
Seeking, as he ventures near,
With his power thy breast to move!
Soon from her immortal throne
Heaven's great queen must fain descend,
And in prayer for beauty's zone,
To the heart-enchainer bend!

.....

By love are blest the gods on high,
Frail man becomes a deity
When love to him is given;
'Tis love that makes the heavens shine
With hues more radiant, more divine,
And turns dull earth to heaven!

.....

'Tis love illumes the realms of night,
For Orcus dark obeys his might,
And bows before his magic spell
All-kindly looks the king of hell
At Ceres' daughter's smile so bright,--
Yes--love illumes the realms of night!

In hell were heard, with heavenly sound,
Holding in chains its warder bound,
Thy lays, O Thracian one!
A gentler doom dread Minos passed,
While down his cheeks the tears coursed fast
And e'en around Megaera's face
The serpents twined in fond embrace,
The lashes' work seemed done.

Driven by Orpheus' lyre away,
The vulture left his giant-prey [8];
With gentler motion rolled along
Dark Lethe and Cocytus' river,
Enraptured Thracian, by thy song,--
And love its burden was forever!

By love are blest the gods on high,
Frail man becomes a deity
When love to him is given;
'Tis love that makes the heavens shine
With hues more radiant, more divine,
And turns dull earth to heaven!

.....

Wherever Nature's sway extends,
The fragrant balm of love descends,
His golden pinions quiver;
If 'twere not Venus' eye that gleams
Upon me in the moon's soft beams,
In sunlit hill or river,--
If 'twere not Venus smiles on me
From yonder bright and starry sea,

Not stars, not sun, not moonbeams sweet,
Could make my heart with rapture beat.
'Tis love alone that smilingly
Peers forth from Nature's blissful eye,
As from a mirror ever!

Love bids the silvery streamlet roll
More gently as it sighs along,
And breathes a living, feeling soul
In Philomel's sweet plaintive song;
'Tis love alone that fills the air
With streams from Nature's lute so fair.

Thou wisdom with the glance of fire,
Thou mighty goddess, now retire,
Love's power thou now must feel!
To victor proud, to monarch high,
Thou ne'er hast knelt in slavery,--
To love thou now must kneel!

Who taught thee boldly how to climb
The steep, but starry path sublime,
And reach the seats immortal?
Who rent the mystic veil in twain,
And showed thee the Elysian plain
Beyond death's gloomy portal?
If love had beckoned not from high,
Had we gained immortality?
If love had not inflamed each thought,
Had we the master spirit sought?
'Tis love that guides the soul along
To Nature's Father's heavenly throne

By love are blest the gods on high,
Frail man becomes a deity
When love to him is given;
'Tis love that makes the heavens shine
With hues more radiant, more divine,
And turns dull earth to heaven!

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